InSITE--Tour the Senate...On Line!

We should all go to Washington, DC, at least once, to see how our government operates. But until you can afford the trip, I found a way you can see the sights without ever leaving home. Just a good Internet connection and a few clicks, and you're there.

Let's head straight for the Senate. It's a pretty cool site, it should be... You paid for it. Lots of information here, clearly laid out. Click around for a good civics lesson. A list of senators, a flow chart to see the positions of importance. Notice when you roll over them, the title changes to the name of the person holding the post. There's even a list of their phone numbers if you want to call and complain. There's even a list of every senator who's ever served. But we're here for the tour.

Go to the visitor's center if you want to plan the real thing. If you're pressed for time, go virtual. You start in the original Senate Chamber, now called the Old Supreme Court Chamber. Watch as you spin around the room. There are highlights, and a little red bulls eye pops up when you run the mouse over one. If you want to cheat, hold down the space bar to see them all.

Like the clock. Some history about a Supreme Court justice who ordered it to make his fellow justices show up for work on time. He tricked them and set it five minutes fast. It's still set five minutes fast. Note the overview map at the underneath the picture here. It shows the stops on the tour, so let's go right to the current Senate chambers .

The same hot spot highlights, and some strange ones. The desks, from the original design, some actually are original, like Jefferson Davis'. They'll explain why it has bayonet holes in it. And for the last strange spot, click around and find the snuff boxes. Early senators were fond of snuff, so they kept it in the chambers, and still do today.

One very cool section, the National Statuary Hall, you can click for a long time in here and see some amazing art and history combined. There's a statue for just about every state in the union, but I didn't count, so you're free to find them on your own.